There’s no better way to start the week than by filling up with God’s Word. So each Monday morning join me here to take a brief, but reflective look into a passage of Scripture.  

“Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can really hurt you.”

This small change to the old children’s rhyme more accurately reflects the consequences of the words we speak. The Bible paints an ugly picture of the tongue:

2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.

James 3:2-8, NLT

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to apologize or go seek someone out to make things right because of something I said. My actions are much easier to control than my tongue because my words reflect what’s in my heart.

When was the last time you said something that wounded another person? Did you make it right?


Verse six says that our tongues are “set on fire by hell itself.” That strong statement shows just how sinful our speech can be. The things we say, the words we choose to use often reveal sinful motives and attitude we try to hide. Sometimes we didn’t even know they were there!

“No one can tame the tongue.” So is all hope lost? No, all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27). He can tame our tongues by refining and cleansing our hearts and minds.

Let’s ask God to search our hearts and shine His light on those dark places.


Have you hurt someone recently with your words that you need to go to today and ask forgiveness?

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